Statement of Purpose 2017-18

Statement of Purpose: Traditional vs Kinky

In the vanilla world, a statement of purpose is something graduate schools ask applicants to write to demonstrate their aptitude, interest and suitability for the programme to which they are applying.

In the world of power exchange, a Statement of Purpose is a document an s-type engaged in self-training creates as a way to define their aims in training. The concept comes from Training with Miss Abernathy: A Workbook for Erotic Slaves and Their Owners.

According to the book, in the Statement of Purpose, the s-type should make:

…a personal commitment to work through the training program. Since you are essentially both trainer and trainee, be sure to specify the responsibilities you have toward yourself: excellent self-care, sufficient food, sleep, exercise, and recreation, and most of all, compassion.

There wasn’t a written example in the book, though, so I adapted her guidelines for my own purposes and have included it below. If it’s useful to you, feel free to use it as a basis to make your own.

Sections

Start Date and Date of Review

Start and end dates were not recommended for a Statement of Purpose, probably as it’s meant to be a commitment to complete the training in the book and that will take however long it takes. If you’ve designed your own training regimen or would like to make your document feel more like a contract you’re holding yourself to, you can add a start date and a date of review, when you can evaluate your progress and perhaps redefine your needs and goals.

Intention

This was also my addition—it’s a brief section on why you’ve chosen to write a Statement of Purpose. What does submission bring into your life? What do you want to get out of the training you’re committing yourself to? Why have you set the goals you’ve set?

Philosophy of Submission

The most challenging part for me was writing down my Philosophy of Submission, the idea for which came from the guidelines on making a training contract between a D-type and s-type.

The suggestion of both members engaging in a training contract including their philosophy of Dominance and submission appealed greatly to me. It makes sense to have it articulated at the start so if your theories of how power exchange is supposed to be clashes you’ll know immediately.

I wanted to include my philosophy in my Statement as a way of keeping in mind what I enjoy about being submissive/get from Dominance. It took awhile to formulate into words exactly what submission meant to me and my philosophy of it, though, so that exercise proved to be useful. Once I found the words they felt like a foundation—like part of my core, as though they had been sitting there, waiting for me to write them down.

At the very least I’ll have an answer if a D-type asks me what I think the point of submission is. Prior to this exercise my response would have been, ‘Um. I must have an opinion on it. Can I get back to you on that?’

(My philosophy of submission is not the only way. My personal philosophy may seem overly strict or too service-oriented for some people, just as other people’s philosophies would be overly lax or based in sexuality to work for me. What’s important is that your philosophy complements the person’s you’re with.)

Goals of Training

According to Training with Miss Abernathy, this section of a training contract:

…may be as simple as ‘the training of a slave to our mutual satisfaction’ or a list of skills to be acquired

I am an advocate of measurable results, so set mine up with a baseline of where I am currently on whatever habit or activity so, at the end of the year, I won’t have to try to recall where I was a year before.

Also, make a plan that can be implemented immediately—small steps—to start on whatever task is being undertaken.

Responsibilities

Following Miss Abernathy’s guidelines—as you are your own trainer, you must look after your property properly. Lay out your responsibilities here and how you will uphold your responsibilities to care for yourself.

Benefits and Further Thoughts

Having your goals, intentions and philosophy written down with a plan and a set time to review it can help get (and keep) you focused on your training.

This can also be a useful addition to your submissive resume, if you have one. Or even a way to start one.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on too much—one thing at a time is plenty if you have a job and family and other responsibilities. If you discover an aspect of your training isn’t working for you, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad submissive; take some time—work out why it isn’t working for you. Break it into smaller steps or work on something else for awhile.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions, but a yearly Statement of Purpose on my kinkiversary with measurable results is more meaningful than an arbitrary day on the calendar when everyone else is trying to magically become a new person overnight.

If you have a paperwork fetish like I do, you may check out Ignixia’s site—she teaches a class on contracts, Letters of Intent and other such gloriousness called ‘Let’s Make it Official’. I have a handout from the class she taught at Power Exchange Summit that I treasure. If she’s teaching it near you—or you can get her to teach it somewhere for you—attend.

[The Miss Abernathy books are out of print separately, but are available in an omnibus called Erotic Slavehood—this is the edition I’m reading and loving to bits.]

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Statement of Purpose

Starting Date: 14/02/17 Date of Review: 14/02/18

Introduction

Over the previous two years I have kept a submissive journal and made weekly goals and daily assignments in order to improve as a person and submissive. This year will begin my third year and I feel I’m becoming better at some things while I have slipped in others. Though, overall, I have improved as a person since discovering and developing my submission. This year, I intend to intentionally focus on the habits below, as I feel they are important to becoming a more balanced person and better submissive.

Philosophy of Submission

A submissive should enjoy making their Dominant’s life easier. A submissive should know exactly who and what they’re about and why they enjoy what they do, as well as what they need from a power exchange. They should be forthright but polite about their needs and desires. A submissive is a representative of their Dominant at all times—even when in the presence of people unaware of their dynamic—and must be a credit to said Dominant.

Goals of Training

1. Adopting a regular exercise routine.
Current routine: None.
Plan: Begin doing stretches and light cardio at least a couple times a week and work up from there. Hope it helps me feel better soon, which helps me stick with it.

2. Adopting a regular work routine that allows for recreation
Current routine: Rather scattered and not something I stick to.
Plan: Pay attention to how I’m spending time and where I have extra time. Also, how long it actually takes to do various things (as opposed to how long I think it takes) then make a new schedule.

3. Learning to attend to one task at a time.
Current success: Middling. Scale of 0/5 I’d give myself a 3.
Plan: If I have an idea for something that needs to be seen to whilst in the middle of something else, make a note of the new thing and keep going with what I was doing.

4. Being more aware of unproductive behaviour and eradicating it.
Current success: Awful: 0 of 5.
Plan: Go to bed when I’m tired. Keep from checking social media for more than five minutes at a time. Don’t check social media ‘just one more time’ before bed, as that always turns into 1.5 hours. Don’t fall for click bait articles. Pay attention to what I’m doing in general.

5. Listening more than speaking
Current success: Less than Brilliant 1 of 5.
Plan: Start with being more aware of what I’m about to say—think before I speak. Does it need to be said?

Responsibilities

Responsibilities to myself whilst training include:

1. Getting adequate sleep, without allowing myself to sleep too much.
Plan: As a life-long insomniac, this is always going to be a challenge, but perhaps regular exercise and a healthier diet will help. I’ve also been practicing breathing techniques at night.

2. Eating healthily and drinking enough water.
Plan: I’ve been eating healthier than ever over the last couple of months and have been making an effort to drink fluids that aren’t tea or coffee. It’s a matter of keeping to that.

3. Keeping myself to the high standards the Ma’am I would like would keep me to, whilst also being as kind to myself as the Ma’am I would like would do.
Plan: The first part shouldn’t be difficult, it’s the second bit that will be the hard part. I have to remind myself that giving myself a nervous breakdown is no way to improve as a submissive.

4. Fitting in recreation—even if it’s forced into the schedule.
Plan: Scheduling in downtime on Sundays, at least, to do something just for me.

Site Review: Submissive Guide

General Description

SubmissiveGuide.com is a resource site for submissives (or any s-type) with an enormous amount of information, articles and advice on any subject a lower-case person could desire. It has been active since 2009.

Features

Everything. No, really. If you’re an s-type and you want to know about something, this site probably has some sort of information for you. If you’re looking for specific guidance, use the search box or browse around using the topics in one of the navigation bars. Also available is what I call the ‘education’ navigation bar, which is at the top of the page.

Education NavBar

This includes a link to their YouTube page (which I didn’t know existed until now), workshops on various topics s-types can use for personal growth or D-types could give as assignments, as well as journal prompts (I use these frequently on this site). They also have an archive of something called Simply Service, which is a now-defunct newsletter for service-oriented people that makes my heart glow. It has essays and articles on different aspects of service, as well as practical advice.

A couple other topics the site covers.

There are book reviews (swoon) and her site was how I discovered Christina Parker’s Where I am Led, which I love.

One of my all-time, number one favourite things (of all the things on Earth) is the series on training resumes–how they’re useful and how to build your own. You can believe I have this set of posts saved on my computer and have tweaked the guidelines to better suit my own needs (added more steps).

There’s an email newsletter—I recommend signing up for it if submission is your thing. I’ve been getting it for months and it may keep you from missing something you may otherwise due to sheer volume of information.

Also, follow the Twitter account (@subguide) for the same reason.

The mobile version is exactly the same as the desktop version, which is neither here nor there. It just is. Just letting you know I checked and the mobile version looks the same and you can zoom in on text by double tapping your screen so it works a-okay.

Bio Break

I don’t usually talk about the person(s) behind a site specifically, but SubmissiveGuide only has one person running it, LunaKM. She did an interview on Erotic Awakening that’s worth a listen. The site has been running since 2009. That one mortal human being coordinates the number of things she does is impressive. There are guest posts, but those must be curated and she still does a gargantuan amount of work besides.

I’ve been visiting the site off and on for many months—perhaps more than a year and a half—and still didn’t know everything about it until writing this review. Does she not sleep? She has a Master, too, so it’s not like she doesn’t have a social life.

Respect, lady.

Flaws

Design (it’s always the design with me, isn’t it?)

Due to the amount of information available the site feels cluttered. The ads are off-putting (though I am not judging—the amount of work that goes into the site deserves to be compensated), and fair dues, it’s difficult to make ads blend into a site well—HeyEpiphora is one of the few sites that has accomplished it, but that’s the exception.

The entire site would need a complete overhaul to make it feel less chaotic and give it a more professional, streamlined look. I’m not going to pick apart specific design elements, but I do want to stress that if you visit this site, don’t be overwhelmed by the volume of information, as I first was. It felt like walking into a vast library where all the books were stacked on the floor in general categories. Everything I wanted was there, but boy was it intimidating.

There must be a keyword-finder software in use, as often, in the middle of posts, part of a word will be linked in a way that doesn’t seem particularly useful (to me). Perhaps other people use this feature or it’s a time-saving device when posting, but when I’m using the site it’s distracting.

Search Function?

I was putting this post together and searched for ‘Where I am Led’ (I know I read a review of it there) but the search function didn’t return the review. I also searched for Christina Parker (the author). So perhaps the search feature doesn’t work well.

Overall review

SubmissiveGuide is the go-to resource for s-types new to the scene (or those interested in improving themselves or their submission). There is a wealth of information, advice, articles and education.

4/5 (That one point is entirely design-based.)

Sub Journal 007: Revelations of the Past Year

007. What have you learned about yourself in the past year that surprises you?

I’ve learned that I can be committed and passionate about something if it means a great deal to me. The website and podcast are what have shown me this.

Previously, I’ve lost interest in other projects or hobbies after a few weeks or months, and thought the same thing would happen with the site and podcast. Instead, I’ve only become more committed and passionate about providing resources for people who are not traditional in their sexual or relationship desires.

I attribute this to having found something profound within myself—chiefly service-oriented submission—that has been there all along but I didn’t have words for. Experiencing that relief and (in a way) homecoming, I want to help other people along their own journeys. Whether that’s by recommending various sorts of media the Outsiders may connect with and find themselves in or by reading about my own life. No one should feel like they’re alone. Because no one is. No matter what you’re into or what speaks to your innermost self there are plenty of people out there who are equally interested and some probably have more experience and can guide you on your way.

I like to say, ‘Everything is a thing.’ If a dynamic, fetish or activity can be a profound experience for a person then someone is into it. You’re not the first, you won’t be the last and there’s no reason to feel badly about your natural inclinations.

I’ve got on a tangent—this is supposed to be about what I’ve learned about myself.

In my reading and studying I’ve confronted some of my own prejudices and worked out why I felt the way I did and worked to eradicate them from my worldview. Some were easier than others.

In the Things That Were Blatant But I Was Too Blind to See category: I’ve also realised I have a definite Little side, figured out what sort of power exchange I’m most interested in, and that I believe I would enjoy topping men.

That last one was the most surprising, even though it made complete sense once I realised it.

Also, I thought I would be fairly boring in my kink interests, but over the year, several things that were on my hard limits list have moved to either the ‘I’d try that with the right person to see if I’d enjoy it’ or ‘Yes, I would very much like to try this, thank you, please.’

A note about being ‘boring’–I never felt I should try my boundaries, as I subscribe to the ‘find your level’ philosophy of kink. Whatever feels natural to you is your level and there are no awards for doing more (or less) than that.

This prompt is from SubmissiveGuide.

No-Limits Submission with Pepper Pots

This writing was the subject of some controversy on Fetlife, there was discussion about the use of the phrase ‘no-limits’ in place of consensual non-consent. Or whether it was even possible to ethically have a CNC relationship.

Janet W. Hardy would say it’s not possible, because a top would always be able to read the other person’s body language and tone.

The overall concept of what’s being described in this piece is similar to what I’ve heard people in Master/slave relationships talk about when describing how their relationships work, which is why I’m posting it.

The original writing is here.

On being a No-limits submissive

I, as my Sir’s submissive, have no right to say no in our relationship. This makes a lot of people very, very uncomfortable, and for good reason. What we do is definitely on the edgier side of things, and definitely not for everyone. But there are three very good reasons why I have chosen to have this type of dynamic.

Moral Compatibility

For some reason, people’s first reaction when I tell them I don’t have limits with Sir is to say, “but what if he made you do (something that violates fetlife’s TOU)??” I just….no. If I thought Sir was going to make me do something morally bankrupt, I wouldn’t be with him. We agree on issues such as not involving parties that are unable to consent. I know for a fact he has no interest in doing those things, or making me do them.

He knows the line between hurt and harm

He does a lot of things that I don’t like. Some I even hate. Some terrify me, and others I think I can’t handle. But never, ever, would he harm me. I know that as his property, he feels responsible to take good care of me, and has no reason to damage me irreparably. That just wouldn’t work out in his favor. So although the things he asks of me may push me, and they may seem impossible to me, I know that he may hurt me, but he will never harm me, and he will always put me back together again.

Good communication

This is key to making this work. Remember that hurt not harm thing? everyone has different things that would harm them. I trust Sir to know the difference between what I really, really don’t want to do, and what will cause me severe distress if I do it. He knows this because I have communicated these things at various times, and allowed him to make that judgement call.

Bonus: Trust

This is the key above all. If you wouldn’t trust the person you are playing with with your life, always have a safeword, and always tell them your limits. But choosing to trust him, and to take this step, was an extremely freeing decision for me. Trust is so huge to me, and he has done everything to respect that.

Where I am Led Month 04

Similar to the previous three months, these are the most thought-provoking (for me) posts from the previous months’ prompts from the Where I am Led workbook by Christina ‘slavette’ Parker.

This month had five weeks’ worth of prompts, which is five guideposts and writing assignments each and ten weekly thoughts to choose from.

Weekly Guidepost

Curiosity. A genuine desire to learn and grow is a quality that should be carefully nurtured. Feed your curiosity, but trim it back when it starts to overwhelm you.

This one reminds me of when I start doing research for a book and I get so into the research I don’t want to start writing. There is a plethora of information out there for submissives and I’m so thankful for that. But it’s difficult to know where to start and it’s easy to get drawn down the rabbit hole of FetLife. It’s also difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when you’re starting out. And I want to consume it all. The blog helps, I think, as it means I have to write one journal prompt a month and find a useful mentor post per week and keep up with my Where I am Led prompts, as well as my book reading and film viewing while writing reviews of those so I’m looking at those more closely. Still, there’s so much more I don’t have the time to get to yet.

Thoughts for the Week 01

Every task you perform for your Owner frees up his or her time to do something else. It is important for you to understand what your Owner is doing with that time since you are, in effect, assisting in those efforts. This is just one reason why it is important for an Owner and a slave to have similar ethical values.

In one way, I feel it shouldn’t be my place to ask what my Owner is doing with her time. I should be focusing on whatever task I’m doing. In another way, I figure if I’m in the sort of relationship where we know one another inside and out and we already know everything about one another then I won’t have to ask what she’s doing because she’ll have told me of her own accord as part of her day.

I would definitely tell her everything I was doing, even if she didn’t ask, though I would assume she’d want to know what I was doing with my time if only as a way of being with me even when she wasn’t physically with me.

Thoughts for the Week 02

Your Owner has offered guidance, protection and comfort. If you hide your feelings or do not seek guidance, you are denying your Owner the pleasure that he or she gains from providing for your well-being. It is the same as if you were denied the pleasure you receive from serving.

That’s a way of looking at it I hadn’t considered. I’d think of it as keeping small problems to myself in order to work on them on my own rather than bothering her with them, as she’d probably have more important things to worry about. It makes sense that, certain types of Owners would want to help their slaves with anything they were struggling with. That alone would be something I’d need to work on (asking for help).

Writing Assignment

In-depth Exploration—Integrity.

Go to the dictionary and find the definition of ‘integrity’. Pretend you are trying to explain ‘integrity’ to someone who has never heard the word and write your own definition.

Integrity was the prompt for week eleven and I said I hadn’t known the definition of the word until I’d read the prompt (which included the definition as being your deeds matching your words). Still, I’ve now consulted by Oxford paperback dictionary and thesaurus and the second definition is: the state of being whole or unified.

I would probably say that to have integrity is to always be the same person no matter who you’re with. A person without integrity may pretend to be one person with one group of people and another sort of person with another person or group of people, but because he’s never his true self, or a good person, eventually the cracks will begin to show.

Monthly Practical
The monthly practical project for the fourth month had to do with planning the packing list for the travel project of the third month including specifics for shopping for particular items.

Where I am Led Month 03

Similar to the previous two months, these are the most thought-provoking (for me) posts from the previous month’s prompts from the Where I am Led workbook.

This month had four weeks’ worth of prompts, which is four guideposts and writing assignments each and eight weekly thoughts to choose from.

Weekly Guidepost

Integrity. Your actions are a reflection of your beliefs. Integrity comes when what you do matches what you believe.

Not to be glib, but I didn’t know that’s what integrity was until I read this prompt. I knew it was a positive trait everyone should aspire towards, but couldn’t define it.

I would certainly want my Dominant to have integrity and since I would choose the sort of Dominant I wanted to emulate I should strive for that, as well. Of course, it’s easier to have high ideals than it is to live up to those ideals.

The sort of Dominant I would want would not only hold herself to a high standard, but would expect me to behave in ways that made her look good. And I would want to do so. As I’ve been on this journey I’ve been asking myself how I would behave in certain situations if I knew my actions would reflect poorly on my Dominant. I don’t know why it’s more important to me to make someone else look better than myself, but it is.

Thoughts for the Week 01

Even the most tiresome and tedious of tasks can become pleasurable to perform over time. Initially, focus on the pleasure your Owner will gain from the finished product. Next, focus on the pleasure you give through your willing compliance and continued dedication to service. Finally, take pleasure from what you have learned, your accomplishments, and your added valued as a slave.

This is extremely useful for when I’m looking for any reason not to do something and then trying to talk myself into doing it anything. Generally, I think of it in terms of, ‘I don’t want to disappoint my Dominant’ and ‘I’ll feel badly if she’s unhappy with me,’ but these are three excellent points to keep in mind and I’m going to transcribe them into my assignment notebook as motivation to get on with my assignments.

Thoughts for the Week 02

In ‘vanilla’ society, people are often judged by the company they keep—and this is even more prevalent in the Master/slave community. Your actions are a direct reflection on your Owner, the quality of training you have received, and the standards of behavior that have been set for you. It is up to you whether you are an asset or a liability to your owner.

I absolutely agree with this and would strive to always be the person my Owner knew I could be whether we were together or apart. I view Dominants and submissives as being two sides of the same coin so I would want to reflect the sorts of behaviour—calm, rational, intelligent—that I would appreciate in my Dominant. I’ve always been attracted to (and felt submissive towards) women I wanted to be like. And I would want a D-type who could help me be more like her, if only by modelling honourable behaviour. By constantly being around someone who was the sort of person I wanted to be and who wanted to guide me, I couldn’t help but want to please her by making her look good by being a better person and by serving her.

Writing Assignment

A Song in Your Heart. Name one song that you would sing to your Owner that would describe your relationship and explain why you have chosen that song. (If you are not in a relationship, what song describes how you would like to feel about your Owner.)

The first songs that came to mind were dark—’Venus in Furs’ and that sort of thing, but that wouldn’t be the sort of D-type I’d want. I’d want the sort of person I could sing Natalie Merchants’ ‘Kind and Generous’ too. The lyrics are about a person who is infinitely giving and patient and kind. Very much in line with a nurturing Dominant. And the person singing recognises what that person gives them and is grateful. That’s how I would feel about the sort of person I chose to serve.

These are the lyrics (written by Natalie Merchant):

You’ve been so kind and generous
I don’t know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I’m in debt to you
For your selflessness, my admiration
For everything you’ve done

You know I’m bound…
I’m bound to thank you for it

You’ve been so kind and generous
I don’t know how you keep on giving
For your kindness I’m in debt to you
And I never could have come this far without you
For everything you’ve done

You know I’m bound…
I’m bound to thank you for it

I want to thank you
For so many gifts
You gave with love and tenderness
I want to thank you

I want to thank you
For your generosity
The love and the honesty
That you gave me

I want to thank you
Show my gratitude
My love and my respect for you
I want to thank you

I want to…
Thank you…

Monthly Practical
The practical project for the third month was to do with planning a complex trip. Due to a death in the family and multiple work deadlines I haven’t been able to do the project, though I will still be completing it.

Where I am Led Month 02

Similar to last month, these are the most thought-provoking (for me) posts from the previous month’s prompts from Where I am Led: A Service Exploration Workbook.

This month had four weeks’ worth of prompts, which is four guideposts and writing assignments each and eight weekly thoughts to choose from. I couldn’t narrow it down to just two Thoughts for the Week and wound up choosing three.

Weekly Guidepost

Surrender. True surrender is a victory, not a defeat. When you can embrace the unknown and find strength in your vulnerability, then you will know real freedom.

The idea of being so comfortable with my Dominant—and so able to trust her—that I could surrender myself physically, emotionally, mentally, etc, is freeing. And empowering. There’s power in both sides of the equation, I think—caring for someone and protecting them and allowing yourself to be cared for and protected and completely surrendering yourself to another person’s will. It must be remarkably freeing to get to the point where you know that, no matter what happens, your D-type will guide you in the direction that’s the best for you as a person and for the two of you as a couple. To not have to second-guess or worry and to trust that as long as you take care of your Dominant, she’ll take care of you.

Thoughts for the Week 01

A slave should not seek to be punished. However, when mistakes are made, a slave should seek to earn the privilege of being punished and forgiven. This privilege is earned by consenting to the punishment deemed appropriate by the Owner, demonstrating genuine remorse for the shortcoming and making a sincere effort not to repeat the mistake in the future.

As I would choose a Dominant I respected completely, her disappointment would be devastating to me. I would rather be punished in whatever way I had agreed to in our contract and whatever way she deemed appropriate at that time in order to earn her forgiveness and prove I was genuinely sorry. Knowing I could be punished would also keep me in line, I think. Knowing my Dominant knew I was capable of so much that it was possible to let her down to the point she would need to punish me to bring me back in line and not wanting to do that (also knowing she had that level of confidence in me) would make me want to live up to her ideals.

Thoughts for the Week 02

As you explore new areas of physical submission, don’t overlook the emotional and spiritual aspects. These areas can provide you with as much fulfillment and satisfaction as you gain from physical acts of submission. As you grow and learn, you will find these areas will become more integrated and very often indistinguishable from each other.

I’ve never understood what ‘spiritual’ aspects are, but emotional submission comes easily for me. And the integration of physical and emotional submission has also been quite natural, as well. I concur whole-heartedly that emotional submission is fulfilling. That was first for me and the easiest—the most natural. Submitting emotionally answers something within me that’s difficult to put into words. The physical part is secondary, and more difficult for me, so it’s interesting that this prompt is worded in a way to suggest that’s what people focus on. I suppose kink is often more focused on the physical rather than the mental. That’s probably worth a blog post.

Thoughts for the Week 03

A valuable talent for a slave to have is the ability to anticipate and fulfill an Owner’s needs, wants, and desires. This ‘talent’ is actually a learned skill that is acquired by remaining focused on your Owner and observant of even the slightest facial expression. Watching your Owner interact with others can be especially enlightening. What traits does your Owner find pleasing in others? What topics of conversation fascinate your Owner? Are these things you can incorporate into your service?

Anticipatory service is something I find both intriguing and baffling. I’m never been able to read people well—it’s why I enjoy being told what to do and why I like routine because then I know what is expected of me. I’m often amazed by the average person being able to just know how another person is feeling so the idea of knowing my Dominant so well as to anticipate her needs is beautiful to me. I would like to be able to do that. I think perhaps it would have to begin by her giving me some sort of non-verbal cue. When she wanted tea she’d do some subtle movement and I’d know—something of that nature.

In terms of watching my Dominant interacting with another person in order to be more pleasing to her—that’s something I hadn’t considered before. I’m not sure I would consider simply being more like the things she likes would be part of service as it would just be part of a normal relationship. A willingness to learn about things my Dominant found interesting would seem to show I cared, to my mind, though I suppose it could also be a part of service, as well.

Writing Assignment

Characteristics Essential for Ownership. What qualities or character traits does an Owner need to have in order to gain your consent to serve? Name at least three or these qualities and explain why you feel they are important.

1. Intelligence. I couldn’t serve a person I didn’t respect and I couldn’t respect an unintelligent person.
2. Controlled. I respect a person who never loses their calm—who responds to difficult situations with a level-head.
3. Kind. I respect a person who is kind. Someone who tries to find the best in others but also doesn’t suffer fools.
4. Able to be vulnerable. I respect a person who is capable of showing their humanity. I couldn’t be with someone who seemed perfect or felt to need to pretend to be invulnerable.
5. Funny. A sense of humour is a must. Life is ridiculous sometimes and it’s important to be able to laugh.

Monthly Practical
The practical project for this month concerned leather care, which I wrote a separate post about. I’ve also posted some links to useful sites in the Service section of the Resources section of the site.

Where I am Led Month 01

A little over a month ago I started Where I Am Led: A Service Exploration Workbook by Christina “slavette” Parker.

The book is set up to be completed over a year’s time, which I like. I’m not sure how I feel about some of the monthly assignments, which you’re supposed to learn how to do even if you never plan to take up, but I’m going to do my best.

There are monthly practical projects, weekly guideposts, twice weekly thoughts and a weekly writing assignment.

From the book:

Monthly Practical Projects: These projects are designed to help you develop skills that will increase your usefulness to your Owner. While you may never put into practical application the specific projects you complete, you will have many opportunities to apply the skills you will develop as you complete the project.

Weekly Guideposts: These are single words associated with the concepts of service. For each word, I’ve provided a short quote. These quotes are meant to be a starting point for exploration of the concept. What images or emotions come to mind when you think about the guidepost word? Do you have any examples from your own life that help define the concept for you? Keep the guidepost word in mind as you go through your week.

Twice-Weekly Thoughts: The thoughts in this book are bits of advice and insight I have gathered on my own journey. Do you agree or disagree with what I have written? Does what I have written remind you of something specific? Do you have additional comments to add?

Weekly Writing Assignments: The weekly writing assignments are designed to assist you in self-exploration while focusing that exploration in positive directions. I encourage you to be as detailed as possible when you are completing the assignments.

Once a month for the next year I’m going to post my responses to the most interesting/thought-provoking prompts (one each of the Guideposts and Writing Assignments and two Weekly Thoughts) as well as how I got on with the monthly practical project.

This first month had five weeks’ worth of prompts, which is five guideposts and writing assignments each and ten weekly thoughts.

Weekly Guidepost

Learning. ‘It is the people who can do nothing who can find nothing to do, and the secret of happiness in this world is not only to be useful, but to be forever elevating one’s usefulness.’ – Sandra Orne Jewett

In realising I am submissive I have discovered an entirely new world of things to learn about. I’m excited about learning in a way I haven’t been in some time because it’s learning about some part of myself that has been hidden from me until this point. It’s like opening a door I hadn’t noticed before. And the more I learn the better of a submissive I can be.

Thoughts for the Week 01

When I think of the awesome responsibility that accepting control of another human being entails, I am humbled. To know that someone believes that this burden is worth shouldering in order to have my submission is a precious gift. It is that state of humility which urges me to continue to improve the quality of my service so that I might ease the burden of Ownership.

Knowing how difficult it is just to take care of myself—I can’t imagine taking on the responsibility of caring for another person to the level a Dominant does for her submissive. It’s clearly part of her nature and something she gets a great deal of satisfaction from, but can also probably be a lot of work, being that she is taking care of both herself and another human being. That is why it would be imperative for me to be the best submissive I could and to make her life as easy as possible in my own way. I think of it as my Dominant running my life so I can make sure hers runs smoothly. So it’s a continual cycle that feeds into itself. I think we should work together to find the ways we can both do our parts of the cycle best—what ways she can best run my life that will allow me to help hers operate as smoothly as possible.

Thoughts for the Week 02

There is a strong power that can be gained through surrender. It is not a power that comes from manipulation or passive-aggressive control over another person. Instead, it is a peaceful, internal power that fills the heart and soul of the slave who recognizes the pleasure that quiet obedience gives to an owner.

Power through obedience is similar to power through silence. There’s a stillness involved in doing as you’re told. At first ‘power’ seemed an odd word choice to me, it makes sense in that anything can hold power if it causes an emotion. To me, ‘power’ is always active—something a person does or has. So the idea of a person whose power comes from obeying, from being still, seems backwards. But it’s like when everyone is yelling and frantic and there’s one person who’s calm. That person seems to have power. Sometimes not doing what you want to do is using your power.

Writing Assignment

The writing assignment I’m choosing is the only one I couldn’t finish, though it wasn’t from lack of trying. The prompt was this:

Name three fictional characters who would be good role models for an aspiring slave and explain why.

After several days—near the end of the week I had to work on my prompts—I wrote this:

This is terrible, but the first thing that came to mind and wouldn’t budge was Vera Bennett from Wentworth. And she was an example of a terrible submissive. She had the opportunity to serve a commanding, naturally dominant woman (Joan Ferguson) and she was naturally submissive and then she messed it up royally by questioning her guidance and lying to her.

It took awhile for me to come up with even one character who would qualify and eventually I came up with Lee Holloway, the protagonist from Secretary. It seems obvious that someone from a film about kink would be a good sub, but actually most fiction is about forced submission, so it’s rare to see someone who took to it so gleefully.

Lee Holloway is a good role model for aspiring submissives because she blossomed when she found her Dominant. She became more confident as a person and as a woman. She even helped him open up and become more comfortable with who he was, proving that the D-type didn’t have to be the all-knowing, god-like figure of the relationship.

Over the last week I’ve thought and thought about it and I can’t come up with another one. I suppose because I’m always paying attention to the dominant women and never the people serving them. From now on I’ll definitely be paying attention and will update this entry when I come across possible role models.

I rather hope people will leave a comment about characters who make excellent s-types. Because I am still at a loss.

Monthly Practical

This had to do with being a nutritionist and meal-planning, which is something I would sincerely hope a Dominant would never ask me to do. I dislike cooking like you wouldn’t believe. However I did find some excellent websites like A Girl Called Jack and some places to download meal planning calendars like this one.

Motivations of Submission with chinaone

As I’ve mentioned, I’m a service-oriented submissive, and have been since I was fourteen (even if I didn’t know what it was called).

However, not all submission comes from the same place and people don’t always submit for the same reasons. Chinaone from FetLife talks about a type of submission that differs from mine, authority-oriented submission.

Motivations of Submission: Service Orientated vs Authority Orientated

Early on in my explorations I discovered that I didn’t possess the same motivations that seemed commonplace to other submissives. The popular assumption was that submissives where motivated by their desire to please. I didn’t possess that desire which led me to question my self-identification as a submissive for some time. It wasn’t until much later that I realized there existed another motivating factor which I think of as obedience to authority. Understanding this about myself was a great relief. So to was learning that there are others with similar motivational sources. Unfortunately, even today, there still remains this assumption by many that all submissives are motivated to please and the lack of such equates to not being an /s type. Neither is accurate, but it seems a difficult concept for others to grasp and accept. Since this is a topic that I have attempted to explain many times over recent years, I think writing about it may prove beneficial at a minimum in aiding others to understand me but perhaps also towards beginning to understand the concept in general. What follows is based solely on my experiences and personal philosophy and not meant to be over generalized to the population.

Service Orientated

I can’t tell you the number of times I have run into such /s types and felt lacking. They had an almost tangible energy to do for others in general or for their particular partner that left me wondering if I wasn’t defective by comparison. I would hear them make comments such as:

“I enjoy being useful”
“I can’t do enough for ____”
“My purpose is to make ______’s life easier”
“Anticipatory service just comes naturally to me”

I would look at them in awe, sure they had some deeper understanding or greater goodness that I was missing. Eventually I figured out that they simply had a different motivational system than I did. According to their descriptions, they found personal fulfillment through their acts of service. Service was its own reward that filled a need within them. Their submission was motivated by a desire to make their partner(s) happy. In so doing, they were compensated by feelings of purpose, contentment, achievement, or personal satisfaction.

While I can understand this drive, I can’t relate to it. I don’t engage in submissive acts for the purpose of making someone else happy, to make their life easier or because their needs supersede mine. Neither do I have a natural ability or desire to provide anticipatory services. This is a skill I must address with great conscious intention or it would elude me. If my partner were to temporarily relieve me of a prescribed duty for some reason, I would not think twice about it. I would not feel derelict, nor would I feel robbed of an opportunity to serve. This isn’t because I am self-centered or uncaring about my partner. I am quite capable of placing other’s needs above my own when warranted. Likewise, I do enjoy making others happy and seeing the joy on their faces. However, while I can find personal fulfillment in aiding others as a human being, they are not the basis of my submission. By themselves, they do not fulfill my need to submit or drive my submission.

This has begged the question, “Well, then who serves who?” My philosophical answer is that we in essence serve each other. My practical answer is that of course I serve my partner, but what may appear the same on the outside comes from quite a different place on the inside. My motivation stems from a need to surrender authority.

Authority Orientated

A recent response to a thread caught my attention:

Then I could pour my energy into being obedient to him, as opposed to wishing I had some natural inclination to do what he wanted, to please him above myself – I don’t have that. It doesn’t come from me. It comes from the ownership of me. @candy
While the purpose of this response was to explain the meaning of being a slave who wasn’t submissive, I found personal meaning in it as it relates to this topic. I understood completely where she was coming from because I come from a similar place. The primary difference between us, I believe, is that for her and some /s types, there is no need to surrender authority in general but rather find themselves in a situation where it has occurred with a particular partner under unique circumstances. For them, they may well never engage in such a power exchange with anyone else ever again and that would be all well and good. I, on the other hand and many like me, feel a driving need to surrender authority.

What I found similar was the lack of desire to please another over self as the source of submission. Pleasing my partner does not come from me; it comes through him and the authority he holds. I am authority orientated which means my drive to serve, please or submit comes from being obedient which can only be fulfilled through ownership. When I surrender authority, I give over the right to leadership, final decision making and agree to follow the edicts as set by my partner. This is in itself what floats my boat and what motivates me to be the best /s type I can be for my partner. It is through the honoring of those edicts that I find fulfillment.

Superficially this doesn’t appear much different then if I were service orientated. I am likely to perform very similar acts of service as any other submissive. If required, I can also provide reasonable anticipatory service. The difference lies in the subtleties of my mind and how I perceive what and why I am doing such acts. For example:

If I am drawing my man a bath there are two possible reasons why I do so-

1. Because I know that his back hurts and I think a hot bath might help.
2. Because he has stated that I should do so at a certain time each day.

Outwardly, it appears an act of submissive service regardless of the reason but that assumption would be incorrect. The first reason exemplifies my empathy as a human being and demonstrates my care and love for my partner. This is certainly an important thing in any healthy relationship. The second, however, exemplifies my submission. It is only through the second example that my submissive need is fulfilled therefore; it is also the only one that I would perceive as an act of submission. Authority in ownership drives my submission.

This tends to lead people to believe that such motivators require constant orders or micromanagement. On the contrary, I am strongly independent and enjoy my free space which is not uncommon. Not everything I do must be ordered nor is it accurate to think that it is only through orders that tasks can be accomplished. I am an efficient woman who is capable of getting it done regardless of the motivator.

What it does indicate is a need to have opportunities to express obedience. This need can be met through rituals, protocols, standing orders, or the random request to complete a certain task. As long as there are such opportunities embedded within the power exchange dynamic, my need to express my submission accordingly is fulfilled. It is only through this ownership, under another’s authority, that I am set free to express all the parts of me beyond the caring, loving, and empathetic human being that I am. While I am free to express the later on my own in any context, the submissive self requires the engagement of authority from my partner in order to be realized.

*NOTE
When I wrote this it was with the intent of sharing my perspective with a person I am dating and to finally put to words thoughts I had carried for some time so that I could have a place to refer back to in the future. I did not expect many would even pay attention to it. If anything, I expected to get handed my ass for daring to say that I was a submissive who was not motivated to please. That so many can identify with it is gratifying but that it actually is helpful to some is beyond anything I anticipated. Thank you to all those who have shared their stories, insights and love. I deeply appreciate it!

The Diary of a Submissive

The cover makes me want to die a little...

The cover makes me want to die a little…

Sophie Morgan was a journalist in a small town in England. At university she met a young American man who spanked her bottom quite hard with a hairbrush. (But she just loved it.) And a belt. (Loved that, too.)

The American had to return to the States, as will happen, but now our good Miss Morgan was in a bit of a quandary. Whosoever was going to give her a good hiding?

Luckily, eventually she made a friend. A gentle man named Thomas. Thomas introduced her to a little something called D/s or dominance and submission. Miss Morgan took to it like a… well like a submissive takes to being dominated.

And boy, did Thomas know how to dominate that booty. And brain. And everything in between.

Alas, they were only friends with kinky benefits and so it could not last.

Would she ever find the man would would push her to her subby limits?

Okay, so. Fiction about submissives always seems to be about forced submission and involves lots of humiliation and sobbing and welts. That’s not really my bag so I always thought it was just male fantasy. Or… I don’t know why Anne Rice wrote her books that way since she is patently not a dude.

So I picked up a memoir thinking that finally I’d see what an actual submissive leading an actual submissive life was like. (Writings on FetLife only give glimpses of people’s lives–I was looking for a bigger picture.)

What I got was lots of humiliation, sobbing and welts. Okay then. People are into that. Like… really into it. YKINMK.

I understand it a bit better now–the need to persevere or to please the Dominant or a combination of the two. And then feeling like you’ve really accomplished something when you do come through it. You may not be able to sit down for a week, but you’ve accomplished something.

It was interesting to read about a person whose submission expresses itself in such different ways to my own. And to see what other people find a step too far, just too degrading. She’d happily do things I’d safeword on but other things I wouldn’t think twice about she found the utter end of humiliation street. That sort of thing is fascinating to me.

Morgan is very headstrong and has some brattish qualities. Then again, she will choose some cocky bastards to spend time with. Such a masochist, this one. Naturally submissive she is not, blanching at bog standard Dom requests. But that just goes back to everyone’s submission being a bit different.

She’s a journalist and it shows in her writing–there’s a certain coolness, a reporting of the facts, rather than the warm, chatting-to-a-friend tone typical of memoirs.

Also, I found it interesting that she didn’t seem to do any research about the lifestyle (she hates that word, but sorry, that’s what it’s called) since she has a background in journalism and has been a submissive for some time. For example, Morgan describes subspace and the moment pain becomes pleasure, but doesn’t know the term for the first one and thinks the second one may only happen to her. (It happens after endorphins are released during the beginning of a beating and is the body’s way of handling pain.)

Those are non-quibbles, though. The Diary of a Submissive gives some insight into what some types of submissives want/get from D/s relationships and what sort of pleasure they derive from heavy impact play and degradation.

Morgan has a second memoir, which I’ll be reading next, entitled No Ordinary Love Story. Title aside, I’m looking forward to it.

I’d give this one 4/5.

Submissive Journal Prompts 001

The last Sunday of each month I will post a submissive journal prompt and my response to it. This month the prompt comes from this page. Other prompts will come from this page, which has hundreds to choose from.

001. Are you a natural submissive or a learned submissive or both?

I’m naturally very submissive to a very specific sort of woman—teacher types (older, intelligent, sophisticated, in charge, etc)–and wish to please them and gain their approval.

Exempli gratia, the Ultimate Domme.

Exempli gratia, the Ultimate Domme.

I’m generally passive in daily life and want to be told what to do and to know what is expected of me. I am happy to defer to my superiors in most situations, though if something isn’t going the way I like or if I’m surrounded by other passive people I will quickly take charge. I also cannot abide being dominated by people—male or female, no matter the age—whom I do not respect or feel do not respect me.

Reasons to Submit with Brittunculi

This week’s Mentor post is from FetLife member Brittunculi, who is in a D/s relationship with Innermind. I’ve posted his work before and I’m sure I will do again.

They both write extensively and articulately about their relationship–about how power exchange looks and feels from both sides of the slash–and it’s clear that there is a great deal of love and respect circulating between those two crazy kids.

This particular post of Britt’s took my breath away and I had to share it (with her permission).

This is what is beautiful about power exchange.

Why do you submit to him?

I get asked a lot ‘Why do you submit to him?’ or ‘What makes you submit to him the way you do?’ Well there are many reasons that I chose Innermind to be the one I would submit to, and I didn’t fully submit at first. I’ve slowly grown in my submission and taken time to find him and myself within the context of our relationship. These are the main reasons why I can submit to him the way I do

Vanilla relationship
There are times when we have to look and function as a Vanilla couple. During this time I still need our connection, I can’t just turn it off. In our relationship we can switch to Vanilla mode quite easily, but he still subtly Doms me. We have built a connection where I know a look, or when a question is really a disguised order. I also call him Sir when we are out to show my respect. It works well because it just comes across as a respect thing.

Freedom
It may seem weird for someone who wants to submit and be owned to also want Freedom, but without this I can’t submit. I know that I’m able to speak freely about matters that concern me. I at no point will be silenced and have my voice removed. I am free to do what I want during the week in my free time. I may have certain protocols that I must fit in, and tasks to complete but I can mostly plan my week as I need to. Even when we are together I have the freedom to let him know I need to do something. This may vary from needing to take a bath or wanting to write, read or draw. I know that if the answer is no it will be for a reason that benefits me, not a reason to suppress me.

Flexibility
I have a business, a child and elderly parents. So there are times when I have to message him to say I will be late for our call. I need him to be flexible at times because I’m not being disobedient I just some days have a lot to try and fit in. We had one protocol that meant I had to send our morning message very early. As one of my businesses is overseas it was difficult when I had to stay up to the early hours working on it. So he was flexible with the rule and altered the time to one that didn’t cause me to have to cut my sleeping hours down. Without flexibility I would be held to a standard I couldn’t manage and would be set up for failure.

Respect
I submit to him but this doesn’t mean I deserve or want to be treated like trash. He respects me as a person and whilst what we do may be considered quite unusual to most it is done with a great level of respect. I can safe word with the only repercussion being a hug and talk. When I kneel for him he respects that I may have to shuffle around every so often to stop a limb going numb. When doing things he respects that I have opinions that I would like to share and contribute. I am treated as a human being, not a thing. Even in scenes where I can’t talk he has taken the time to get to know me and respects my needs and limits without me needing to prompt him first.

Communication
This is the biggest reason I submit to him. Because we communicate a lot. And it’s not always great communications it may be that we have a problem with each other, but we have the ability and environment where we can have these difficult talks. When we’ve fucked up we’ve communicated. We even communicate about how we can communicate even better. There are no I’m Dom you be silent moments. Even in a scene I can speak and tell him something. I need my voice, and he needs me to have my voice. This in turn makes me respect him a lot. And when you respect and love someone, kneeling at their feet becomes a very natural, easy and fulfilling thing to do.

We didn’t get to where we are overnight, and we’ve had some obstacles to get over. What we have done from the beginning though is what I’ve discussed above. It started slow and we’ve had to learn each other and adapt. What I have found is I have to give you my submission, you can’t take it from me. This is why I submit to him, because he gave me everything and trusted me with it, and I in turn trusted him enough to give it back to him as submission. When you help create a strong woman, you in turn create a strong submissive. And the stronger your submissive, the stronger your D/s relationship becomes.
– Brittunculi

The New Bottoming Book

The sheer glee on the bottom's face slays me.

The sheer glee on the bottom’s face slays me.

Like The New Topping Book, this is an updated version of a previous book (this time it was The Bottoming Book: How to Get Terrible Things Done to You by Wonderful People). The edition I read was published in 2001, roughly ten years after the original. Both books are by BDSM veterans Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy.

This was similar to The New Topping Book in that it was a good primer for people new to the lifestyle, though there were fewer anecdotes and personal scenes, and a lot was repeated between books. As most people aren’t going to read both that’s a minor quibble.

One book is not a substitute for the other–there is very specific information for each side of the top/bottom equation in each book. Reading both was enlightening in terms of how two people can experience the same extreme situation differently.

For someone with an intellectual curiosity about but no personal interest in BDSM, I would recommend reading both books. They provide a good deal of information in a short span and are easily accessible.

The New Bottoming Book covers basic information about a wide variety of bottoming scenes and techniques without being a particularly long read so I’d definitely recommend it for new subs or people who think they might be submissives or bottoms. 5/5 stars.